Top 3 Pharma concerns International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations

“Suing Nelson Mandela to defend HIV drug patents in South Africa was about the dumbest thing the industry ever did.”

Thomas Cueni appointed earlier this year as director-general of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations, said to the FT. I might put it in the top 10, but perhaps there are other items to challenge it.

The whole area of drug pricing and patents in Africa was one of the earliest catalysts for my involvement in the sustainability / ESG / responsible investing / whatever you want to call it.

Cueni noted his top 3 priorities:

“(1) The biggest health threat right now is antimicrobial resistance. If we don’t get our act together, instead of 700,000 people dying each year we may have 10m by 2050. (2)  universal health coverage. You will not be able to make much progress unless you address the funding issues. You need functioning health systems. But as long as two-thirds of the world pays out of pocket, you will struggle to reach universal health coverage. We as an industry can contribute. (3)  ethics and integrity."

I think most of us are not super aware of (1) the antimicrobial resistance, apart from the odd super-bug headline.  (2) is simply not happening in the US.  And (3)… well it’s better than before but these surveys do not paint a good picture of trust.


Source: Harris Poll

Source: Harris Poll

This Harris Poll survey suggests only 9% of patients believe pharma puts patients ahead of profits.   Perhaps even more alarming are the PatientView surveys which look at patient groups (see below)

Patient-groups' perceptions of the pharma industry (2011-2016) at various activities of importance to patients,   % of total responses that stated the pharma industry was 'Excellent' or 'Good' at each activity.  Source: PatientView

Patient-groups' perceptions of the pharma industry (2011-2016) at various activities of importance to patients, % of total responses that stated the pharma industry was 'Excellent' or 'Good' at each activity.  Source: PatientView

Although this is reflective of poor trust everywhere globally it seems.

If you'd like to feel inspired by commencement addresses and life lessons try:  Neil Gaiman on making wonderful, fabulous, brilliant mistakes; or Nassim Taleb's commencement address; or JK Rowling on the benefits of failure.  Or Charlie Munger on always inverting;  Sheryl Sandberg on grief, resilience and gratitude or investor Ray Dalio on  on Principles.

Cross fertilise. Read about the autistic mind here

Infant Mortality, SDG - what the data says

Infant mortality.  What does the data say? In a series of thoughts on what human development data is suggesting, I examine the good, the bad and what might be missing.

Infant Mortality rate is measure per 1,000 live births. It measures  the number of deaths of children under one year.  Many factors contribute to infant mortality, such as the mother's level of education, environmental conditions, and political and medical infrastructure. Medically, Premature birth is the big contributor with other leading causes birth asphyxia, pneumonia, and term birth complications.

It would come under #SDG Goal 3 and is often considered a measure of human development.

The good news the world average has been cut in half over the last 25 years from50 to 24. The bad news is that still leaves many poorer nations still a far ways off the richer nations. There is the opportunity to accelerate here. Tunisia goes from 44 to 12 during this time.  Brazil goes from 51 to 15.

The US improves but the pace of its improvement lags many other developed nations. Slovenia improves faster. Slovakia over takes the US. This pattern is reflected in many other indicators suggesting that on many measures the US is slipping.  The UK joins the US in slipping in the HDI (Human Development Index), but not on this measure.

I’ll come to systemic risks such as climate change and forced mass migration in future thoughts, but looking at these patterns and some of the underlying drivers (improved health and education) there are reasons to be optimistic that we should still see improvements over the next decade, although my sense is that the US is likely to continue to slip or stall relative to its peers.

Sources:    see  also I’m a fan of Hans Rosling’s works, his legacy can been seen here   and his TedTalk here  (11.9m views)

The HDI is brought to life by google using  google explorer.